Rufus Wainwright: Folkocracy [Album Review]

Rufus WainwrightFolkocracyBMG [2023] While it took him 25 years, after making sophisticated pop albums both of the classic past and more modern pop as well as exploring the world of opera and classical music, Rufus Wainwright, the child of two well-known folk artists and what he describes as “a bona fide folkocracy,” has finally gotten … Read more

Simple Minds: Direction Of The Heart [Album Review]

Simple MindsDirection Of The HeartBMG [2022] Scottish band Simple Minds came to the attention of American rock audiences in the early 80’s alongside UK bands like Big Country, The Waterboys, The Alarm, and, of course, U2, making what became known as the “big music,” for its larger-than-life atmospherics. It was inevitable that The Waterboys would … Read more

The Afghan Whigs: How Do You Burn? [Album Review]

The Afghan WhigsHow Do You Burn?Royal Cream/BMG [2022] Greg Dulli has led The Afghan Whigs, which originally formed in Cincinnati, through two distinct yet memorable periods. The singer songwriter once described the band’s sonic ethos as an attempt to bring together the musical sensibilities of The Band, The Temptations, and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse, revealing … Read more

Bloc Party: Alpha Games [Album Review]

Bloc PartyAlpha GamesInfectious/BMG [2022] Alpha Games is the sixth studio record from London’s Bloc Party and right from the opening track you can hear the dance-punk band reaching back for the glory beats of their fantastic 2005 debut Silent Alarm. Since a solid sophomore record, Bloc Party has never hit the same gold and appeared … Read more

Fire Track: The Afghan Whigs – “I’ll Make You See God”

The Afghan Whigs have released an electrifying new single with “I’ll Make You See God,” their first new music since 2017’s album In Spades. The driving rock track is also featured in the upcoming PlayStation game Gran Turismo 7 (out March 4th) and the single is being released via Royal Cream/BMG. The Afghan Whigs – … Read more

Bloc Party – “Traps” [Video]

Bloc Party announced details of their forthcoming sixth studio album Alpha Games, out April 29th 2022 via Infectious / BMG. Alpha Games is the band’s first studio album since 2016’s Hymns. Alongside the album announcement, Bloc Party have shared new single “Traps” as the first taste of the upcoming record. Produced by Nick Launay and … Read more

Supergrass: In It For The Money (Expanded Remastered Edition) [Album Review]

SupergrassIn It For The Money (Expanded Remastered Edition)BMG [2021] So when you are signed to Parlophone Records and release the biggest selling debut album for the label since The Beatles’ Please Please Me, I think you have a good thing going. That is exactly how things went for Britpop stars Supergrass and their 1995 debut … Read more

Chrissie Hynde: Standing In The Doorway – Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan [Album Review]

Chrissie Hynde Standing In The Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob DylanBMG [2021] Chrissie Hynde was fresh from the release of another very good Pretenders’ album, Hate For Sale, when everyone was reckoning with the fact that the pandemic wasn’t a passing thing, and tours and concerts were going to be on hold for another year. … Read more

Cheap Trick: In Another World [Album Review]

Cheap Trick In Another WorldBMG [2021] When guitarist Rick Nielsen formed Cheap Trick in Rockford, IL back in 1973, it seems more than doubtful that he could have imagined that he be releasing the band’s 20th studio album 48 years later. For a band with such staying power, it’s a bit strange that their greatest … Read more

The Dirty Knobs: Wreckless Abandon [Album Review]

The Dirty Knobs Wreckless AbandonBMG [2020] Guitarist Mike Campbell, like Little Stephen Van Zandt (E Street Band) and Nils Lofgren (Crazy Horse & E Street Band), has both the distinction and anonymity of being a rock star’s sideman, playing for the better part of 50 years in the shadow of Tom Petty. While the Heartbreakers’ … Read more

Pretenders: Hate For Sale [Album Review]

Pretenders Hate For SaleBMG [2020] Like many of the innovative, influential women artists who carved out a name for themselves in the early days of modern rock & roll music – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Jett – Chrissie Hynde is practically a force of nature … Read more

Rufus Wainwright: Unfollow The Rules [Album Review]

Rufus Wainwright Unfollow The RulesBMG [2020] Somehow, even when Rufus Wainwright was getting a lot of buzz for the sophisticated sound on his self-titled debut (’98) and his sophomore outing, Poses, he felt like an old soul, someone who’s idea of pop music came from Cole Porter’s prestigious catalog in the 1930’s, and prone to … Read more

Pixies: Beneath The Eyrie [Album Review]

Pixies Beneath The Eyrie BMG/Infectious [2019] Album Review: For nearly a decade the reunited Pixies, who came back together in 2004, seemed willing to rest on the laurels of their iconic early masterpieces like Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, playing the old “hits” on the retro circuit. Now, as far as that goes, many of us … Read more

The Charlatans: Different Days [Album Review]

The Charlatans Different Days BMG [2017] Fire Note Says: Brit pop from Manchester’s The Charlatans, with some assistance from Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and Anton Newcombe. Album Review: With a band like The Charlatans, where they have overcome overwhelming odds while continuing to record music after 28 years, the fact that they are still at … Read more

Pretenders: Alone [Album Review]

Pretenders Alone BMG [2016] Fire Note Says: Hynde makes a strong case for the enduring relevance of her voice and musical stance. Album Review: Rock N’ Roll music may be one of the rare places in life where something akin to “beginner’s luck” can pan out and deliver a rare critical and commercial breakthrough the … Read more

The Smashing Pumpkins: Monuments To An Elegy [Album Review]

The Smashing Pumpkins Monuments To An Elegy Martha’s Music/BMG [2014] Fire Note Says: If you don’t over-think it, Monuments to An Elegy has a lot to offer. Album Review: Billy Corgan is one of those smart rockers, maybe too smart for his own good. One clue you may be dealing with someone who over-thinks their … Read more

Bush: Man On The Run [Album Review]

Bush Man On The Run BMG [2014] Fire Note Says: Bush pleases the crowd with the hard-rocking Man On The Run. Album Review: As a child of the 80’s and 90’s there is something comforting about the bands of my youth sticking around and putting out new content. Bush was one of the biggest outfits … Read more

The Features: The Features [Album Review]

The Features The Features Serpents And Snakes / BMG [2013] Fire Note Says: The Features introduce a bit more electro into their rock n roll lifestyle. Album Review: Nashville based The Features have been perfecting their sound over the years and on record number four the group sounds as comfortable as ever as they tweak … Read more

Matt Pond: The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hands [Album Review]

Matt Pond The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hands BMG [2013] Fire Note Says: Matt Pond returns, sans PA, with an immaculately-produced set of 10 pop/rock songs. Album Review: I had heard of Matt Pond PA (Matt Pond’s “band”) before writing this review, but hadn’t really listened to much of their material—they were on … Read more